In an Official Visit to Pakistan, AAOIFI Launches Urdu Translation Project for Shari’ah Standards

Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and Islamic banking industry of Pakistan (IBIP) signed an MOU for support and sponsorship of Urdu translation of AAOIFI’s Shariah Standards, at a ceremony held at the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP’s) in Karachi, Pakistan. Mr. Saeed Ahmad – Deputy Governor SBP and Chairman of high powered Steering Committee of the Government of Pakistan for Promotion of Islamic Banking was the Chief Guest of the ceremony. The signing of MOU was praised by Mr. Saeed Ahmad  as a historic event for Islamic banking industry of Pakistan. He was of the view that this is a great initiative and he assured of support from SBP for the noble cause. He emphasized that the most simple and understandable language should be used to translate the standards so that people can easily understand the same. It was also discussed by the participants that Pakistan’s regulators including the SBP, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) have started the process of adoption or adaptation of AAOIFI standards, particularly, its Shariah Standards which are the globally acceptable standards for Shariah compliance in Islamic financial institutions.

“Pakistan is indeed a major partner for AAOIFI and has always been an integral part in AAOIFI’s plans. Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani has been leading the Shariah Board of AAOIFI since its establishment. Similarly, AAOIFI’s Board of Trustees, as well as, the technical boards have always benefited from the presence of prominent Pakistani professionals either directly selected from Pakistan or serving in different parts of the world”; said Dr. Hamed Merah – Secretary General AAOIFI at this occasion. Dr. Merah also praised the support extended by the Islamic banking industry and the regulators in Pakistan.

Mr. Zafar Hijazi, Chairman SECP appreciated efforts of AAOIFI and assured SECP of full support and cooperation. He congratulated the initiation of the landmark project of Urdu translation to be jointly carried by AAOIFI and Islamic banking Industry of Pakistan.

While signing the MOU on behalf of the Islamic banking industry of Pakistan, Mr. Hasan Bilgrami – President BankIslami Pakistan Limited emphasized the need of these standards for the industry as well as the need of having knowledge resources available in Urdu language which is one of the widely spoken languages of the world. He said that he firmly believes that it will on one hand improve the Shariah compliance and on the other will reduce unnecessary and unjustified criticism on Islamic banking from those who do not have firsthand knowledge of these principles because of the language barriers.

Members of high powered Steering Committee of the Government of Pakistan for Promotion of Islamic Banking and Members of IBIP’s Steering Committee on Media Campaign along with the senior officials from SBP also graced the occasion.

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Dr. Hamed Merah (Secretary General AAOIFI) and Mr. Hasan Bilgrami (President BankIslami Pakistan Limited, on behalf of the Islamic banking industry of Pakistan) signing and exchanging the MOU for Shariah Standards Urdu Translation Project. At this occasion Mr. Saeed Ahmed (Deputy Governor SBP) and Mr. Zafar Hijazi (Chairman SECP) along with senior bankers and Shariah scholars were also present.

Dr. Hamed Merah – Secretary General AAOIFI was on two day visit of Pakistan. During his visit, AAOIFI’s Team (including Mr. Omar Ansari – Deputy Secretary General and Dr. Abdulrahman AlSaadi –Consultant, Sharia Dept. ( visited Meezan Bank Limited’s Head Office and signed an MOU for bilateral collaborations and knowledge sharing. Dr. Hamed also chaired a roundtable discussion organized by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) – Center for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF) on the importance of standardization for Islamic finance industry. The roundtable at IBA City Campus was actively participated by a large number of Islamic finance experts and scholars.

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Dr. Hamed Merah (Secretary General AAOIFI) and Mr. Irfan Siddiqui  (President Mezan Bank Limited) signing and exchanging the MOU for technical collaboration between the parties.

AAOIFI’s team was also invited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) to share thoughts and discuss on the possible collaborations. Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Adil – Vice President ICAP along with the Chairman and members of ICAP’s Committee on Islamic Finance and ICAP top management hosted the AAOIFI’s team for discussions on the functioning of both institutions and identification of the areas of possible collaborations.

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Mr. Nadeem Yousuf Adil (Vice President ICAP) presenting memento Dr. Hamed Merah (Secretary General AAOIFI).

AAOIFI’s team, also attended a meeting of the Karachi Sub-Committee of the Shariah Board of AAOIFI headed by honorable Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani – Chairman AAOIFI Shariah Board along with a few of the most prominent Shariah scholars from Pakistan generously hosted by IBA – CEIF.

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Mufti Dr. Imran Usmani presenting plaque on behalf of IBA-CEIF to Dr. Hamed Merah (Secretary General AAOIFI) in presence of Mr. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui (Director IBA-CEIF).

Brief Overview about AAOIFI

AAOIFI, established in 1991 and based in Bahrain, is the leading international not-for-profit organisation primarily responsible for development and issuance of standards for the global Islamic finance industry.  It is supported by numbers of institutional members, including central banks and regulatory authorities, financial institutions, accounting and auditing firms, and legal firms, from over 45 countries.  Its standards are currently followed by the leading Islamic financial institutions across the world and have introduced a progressive degree of harmonisation of international Islamic finance practices.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Omar Mustafa Ansari, Deputy Secretary General, AAOIFI

Office: +973 – 17375409

Mobile: +973 – 34023891

Mobile: +92 – 301 8265176

E-mail: [email protected]  

Mr. Mohamad H. Khaled, Marketing and PR Manager AAOIFI

Office: +973 – 17375404

Mobile: +973 – 34206816

e-mail: [email protected]